The month of February brings to mind love and romance, roses and candies. It has become a month dedicated to lovers, finding ways to remind them how much you care for them. But what about showing some love to yourself?
So many of us spend our whole lives being busy, running around getting things done without a moment to rest. In spending so much time taking care of others, we neglect to take care of our own needs and wants. We run ourselves down, and no one can pour from an empty cup. In this month of love and romance we are presented with an opportunity to focus on loving ourselves.
Here are a few suggestions to show yourself some love and boost your own love bucket:
Step out into nature
Whether it is sunny, cloudy or rainy, just step outside. Even if you only take 60 seconds, make it a sensory experience – take in the sights, smells, feelings, and sounds that surround you. There is plenty of nature wherever you are. What do you smell? Maybe it’s the wetness of the rain on the grass or the sidewalk. What do you hear? It could be bickering squirrels or the wind through the trees or the silence that comes from a fresh snowfall. How does the outside feel on your skin? Turn your face up to the rain or sun. Love on yourself by simply being in nature.
Make time for movement
Run, walk, dance, stretch – it’s really that simple. Get yourself into the opposite stance than you spend your day in. For those of you who sit most of the day, stand up. Stretch your arms above your head, as if you are trying to reach the sky. For those of you who are up on your feet most of the day, bend your body. Standing with your feet comfortably apart, bend forward using your hands for support if needed. Just hang in this folded posture. Try this while sitting. Fold your torso over your legs. Breath into the change of position. Show your body some love by moving it in ways that feel good!
We hear about practicing gratitude, and there are so many ways to be grateful that it is almost overwhelming. Well, damn it, it’s time to just do this loving thing. Studies show that noting what you are grateful for from the day gets you better sleep, reduces anxiety, and improves mental health. Let’s take it a step further and note what you are grateful for about who you are today. This might be difficult at first, so start with just one thing. Maybe you like how your eyes feel when you smile, maybe you like your hair today, or maybe you’re grateful you showed yourself some love by taking a moment for yourself. Writing down your gratitudes for the day gives you an extra boost to your brain and etches a new habit pattern.
Now that you have a different angle on February as the month of love and romance, let’s redefine how we really play it out. Every day. We do have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, so lets make it the best we can. Now, say it with me everyone: I LOVE ME!